The new 2014 Chevrolet Impala is a big five-passenger family sedan, and becomes a big car with a small engine for the fuel-economy minded buyers looking for better mileage.
The Impala is good, but is there a better mileage competitor out there on the road?
The new 2014 Chevrolet Impala is a big five-passenger family sedan, the largest one Chevy sells.
While it was launched earlier this year with a 303-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine, it can now also be ordered with a 196-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engine that produces 186 lb-ft of torque.
That would seem to be a small engine in a big car, but it’s in the service of—naturally—fuel economy. The four-cylinder Impala is rated at 25 mpg (21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway) by the EPA, better than the 22-mpg combined rating of the V-6 version.
Over that distance, it returned a recorded 25.1 mpg, which is a figure you’d not have been likely to see from previous Impalas (except perhaps during highway cruising on flat roads with the cruise control on).
It’s not nearly as good as the real-world 40 mpg we got in a 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, but the Impala was slightly bigger than Toyota’s largest sedan—and several thousand dollars cheaper to boot.
But under most driving conditions, the Impala performed well enough—and, during damp and intermittently rainy weather, proved to be surprisingly eager to spin its inside front wheel when accelerating out of corners.
A second four-cylinder Impala, this one fitted with a 2.4-liter engine and the eAssist mild-hybrid system already used in the Buick Lacrosse, will arrive at Chevy dealers before the end of the year.
That car is expected to earn EPA ratings of 25 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, for a likely combined rating of around 28 mpg.